League Table

P W D L Pts
8 Nottingham 0 0 0 0 0
9 Plymouth Albion 0 0 0 0 0
10 Rotherham Titans 0 0 0 0 0
11 Worcester Warriors 0 0 0 0 0
12 Yorkshire Carnegie 0 0 0 0 0

Fixtures

Rotherham Titans (38) vs Doncaster Knights (20) - Championship

Saturday November 3rd - KO 2.00pm

Pre-Match Report

There are 7 changes to the starting line up that lost out to league leaders Newcastle Falcons last Friday evening. In the back line Pale Nonu returns at inside centre, whilst Mike Doneghan gets another opportunity on the wing. An entire front row change sees Jamie Kilbane, Ted Stagg and Gareth Denman start and Joe Ellyatt comes back into contention at blind side.

Titans acting Head Coach Lee Blackett previewing the game commented, “You only have to look at Doncaster’s recent form to see the massive improvement they have made since the start of the season. I think their confidence will be sky-high coming into this game, particularly after the two good wins against Nottingham and Moseley.

“I’ve watched a number of their matches on DVD and they are playing much better than their results would suggest. Add to that, it’s a South Yorkshire derby and we know it’s going to be a real tough challenge.

“Doncaster are playing quite a bit of rugby at the moment and they are playing through 10 a lot more than they used to, but we know they will take us on at line out time and with the driving mauls. They are a decent all round side and they will pose us challenges all across the park.

“However, in these sorts of games, it usually comes down to physicality and who wants it the most and I’d like to think here at Clifton Lane, we would want it the most.

“Although I don’t think the occasion needs any more spice about it, with the additional incentive of the Yorkshire Regiment Trophy, it will make it a special day for everyone involved. Additionally, players love this type of occasion and being crowned top-dogs in Yorkshire would mean a lot.”

Titans: 15 Fergus Mulchrone, 14 Peter Homan, 13 Lee Blackett, 12 Pale Nonu, 11 Mike Doneghan, 10 Garry Law (Capt.), 9 Charlie Mulchrone, 1 Jamie Kilbane, 2 Ted Stagg, 3 Gareth Denman, 4 Toby Freeman, 5 Dan Sanderson, 6 Joe Ellyatt, 7 Carl Kirwan, 8 Alex Rieder.

Replacements: 16 Shane Cahill, 17 Marshall Gadd, 18 Ross Davies, 19 Nile Dacres, 20 Joel Gill, 21 Ed Styles, 22 Jimmy Williams.

Match Report

With acting Head Coach Lee Blackett and Backs Coach Mike Whitehead at the helm for the first time, Rotherham Titans can be very pleased with their afternoon’s graft. Victory over Doncaster Knights is never easy and Saturday’s encounter was no different.

Doncaster to be fair probably edged matters in the first half and had an opportunity to get the scoreboard ticking after just 5 minutes. However, Jamie Lennard’s audacious attempt at a 50 metre drop goal did not trouble the posts.

Titans did however take the lead on 12 minutes; following a Charlie Mulchrone break which took play up to the Knights 22, the visitors gave away a penalty which allowed Titans skipper Garry Law to nudge the hosts ahead. Doncaster then had a sustained period of pressure close to the Titans line, but time and again the host’s repelled the visitor’s attacks with some resolute defending.

It was however the Titans who struck next. From a line out close to the line, the Rotherham pack rumbled forward, culminating with Ted Stagg dibbing down for the first try of the match. Law converted nicely from near the touch line for a 10-0 lead.

Doncaster bounced back and scored a similar try to the one they’d just conceded. From a 5-metre line out the visitors pack pounced and flanker Jethro Rawling touched down for Lennard to convert. There was just enough first half time left for Garry Law to ping a penalty over to give Titans a 13-8 lead at the interval.

Early in the second period, following a terrific Garry Law kick which forced the Donny defence to take the ball into their in-goal area, Titans secured a 5-metre scrum. From the scrum the Rotherham forwards applied some pressure which forced the visitors backwards and allowed Charlie Mulchrone to snipe under for a try.

From the restart Rotherham conceded a penalty which enabled the Knights to set-up a catch and drive move just 10 metres out. Yet again the Titans conceded a try from such a move, this time winger Tyson Lewis was on hand for the glory. Lennard converted to leave the visitors trailing 18-15.

At this point Rotherham appeared to up the ante as they started to control matters and their use of the backs proved profitable. Two Peter Homan tries in the space of 15 minutes sandwiched a Law penalty, with law adding a conversion to Homan’s second try, in effect settling the outcome with 5 minutes remaining as the Titans opened up a 33-15 gap.

Disappointingly for the hosts, three minutes from time they concede their third try of the afternoon from another catch and drive move close to their line and once again it was open side flanker Jethro Rawling who was on hand to score his second try of the match.

Titans did however finish with a flourish when the outstanding Fergus Mulchrone showed tremendous awareness and strength to power over in the right corner, his try was fitting reward for his afternoon’s effort. Law missed the conversion leaving the final score at 38-20 and the bragging rights firmly at Clifton Lane.

Titans acting Head Coach Lee Blackett said afterwards, “I was pleased going in at half time 13-8 ahead considering Doncaster had shaded us a little in the first half. I think in the second half we were better and I think our backs looked a lot better when we started to shift the ball around. That’s what we are trying to bring in and that’s not just this week, we’ve been trying to incorporate the backs far more this season and we saw against Plymouth just how effective we can be when we do that.

“I was really happy with our second half performance because we did move the ball well and that’s what we’ve been working on in the last couple of days. The boys went out there and did that and it was pleasing to score a try off a move that we’d only worked on in the last couple of days.

“We played a little bit too tight in the first half and we tried to play from too deep. In the second half we kicked very well on turnovers and we put ourselves in good field positions and that enabled us to get on the front foot. Our ball carriers got us going forward and when they do that the game is a lot easier.”

Attendance: 1876
Referee: Steve Lee
Yellow Card: Brian McGovern (21), Lee Blackett (28).
Titans: Ted Stagg (T), Charlie Mulchrone (T), Fergus Mulchrone (T), Peter Homan (2T), Garry Law (3P, 2C).
Doncaster: Jethro Rawling (2T), Tyson Lewis (T), Jamie Lennard (1P, 1C).

Titans: 15 Fergus Mulchrone, 14 Peter Homan, 13 Lee Blackett (Joel Gill 40), 12 Pale Nonu, 11 Mike Doneghan (Ed Styles 76), 10 Garry Law (Capt.), 9 Charlie Mulchrone (Jimmy Williams 73), 1 Jamie Kilbane (Marshall Gadd 46), 2 Ted Stagg, 3 Gareth Denman (Ross Davies 46), 4 Toby Freeman, 5 Dan Sanderson, 6 Joe Ellyatt (Nile Dacres 76), 7 Carl Kirwan, 8 Alex Rieder.

Replacements: 16 Shane Cahill, 17 Marshall Gadd, 18 Ross Davies, 19 Nile Dacres, 20 Joel Gill, 21 Ed Styles, 22 Jimmy Williams.

Doncaster Knights: 15 Jamie Lennard, 14 Dougie Flockhart, 13 Dante Mama, 12 James Tincknell (Will Simpson 70), 11 Tyson Lewis, 10 Tom Luke, 9 Chris Hallam (James Munro 70), 1 Tom Davies (Jack Bermanas 70), 2 Rhys Buckley (Ben Sowery 67), 3 Brian McGovern (Tomas Francis 56), 4 Matt Challinor (Capt.), 5 Dominic Parsons, 6 Andy Boyde (Sam Pailor 56), 7 Jethro Rawling, 8 Chris Planchant (Phil Hoy 56).

Replacements: 16 Jack Bermanas, 17 Ben Sowery, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Phil Hoy, 20 Sam Pailor, 21 James Munro, 22 Will Simpson.